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Mason man set to become first person to play, officiate in Super Bowl

By Mike Dardis

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    MASON, Ohio (WLWT) — Cincinnati native and Purcell Marian High School graduate Terry Killens is set to make history in next month’s Super Bowl.

The Mason man played in the Super Bowl in 2000 with the Tennesseee Titans when they lost to the Rams.

Now, he’s about to become the first man to play in a Super Bowl and referee in one later.

“I wear the stripes because they’re slimming. It makes me look good and makes my waist very small, about a 36,” Killens said. “In all seriousness, I wear the stripes because I love the game of football.”

Killens has a sense of humor about it now, but his journey back to the Super Bowl has been an absolute grind, highlighted by hard work, dedication and an assist from his late wife Rhonda, who died of breast cancer four years ago at 46 years old.

Rhonda was his high school sweetheart at Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati and helped juggle five children so Terry could chase his dream.

“I remember she would be the one to get our 7-year-old son together for his MYF football games while I would be out working a JV game somewhere Saturday morning,” Killens said.

Killens was bored one summer day long after his playing career was over. He signed up for a $100 course on officiating, starting in JV football before moving up to varsity, Division III college and, in 2019, the NFL.

“It is a reward. Not only to me, but my crew, my crew chief Shawn Hocule and the rest of the guys. Because I couldn’t be there without them, without him,” Killens said.

One week from Sunday, in Las Vegas, Killens will make Super Bowl history. He earned his stripes and will now enjoy wearing them too.

“It’s a wonderful moment, and I’m going to enjoy every bit of it,” Killens said.

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